The bookstore smelled like a freshly opened package of paper with an undertone of cardboard boxes. I breathed deeply as much to enjoy the scent as to take in oxygen to calm my racing heart. I nervously made my way through the aisles, trying to look like I belonged, wishing I had my kids with me so I could hide behind them.
“Um, maybe, ah,” I stammered. I lowered my eyes and blurted, “I think I’m looking for a devotional to read every day.” Already berating myself for not really knowing what I wanted, or even what I needed to be looking for, I felt this Christian woman could see how far I had fallen away from my upbringing, from God.
“Well, we have a lot of daily devotionals. Do you know any of the authors who would interest you?”
“No,” I admitted. “But I don’t want anything too short or simple, like a Daily Bread. I want something deeper.” I rushed on, clarifying, “And I want Scripture, not just a preachy opinion about the Scripture.”
I could feel her eyes measuring me. “I think what you might be looking for is a Bible.”
“Oh, I have a Bible,” I assured her, thinking of the small, pink Bible with the tiny print I had bought as a teenager to carry in my school bag. I wondered if I could find it.
“Let me show you the one I am thinking of. It’s a Daily Walk Devotional Bible. There is a short piece explaining the section of Scripture that is read. It’s set up to read each day and go through the Bible in a year.”
The Bible was weighty in my hands. I flipped through, seeing the daily layout and the explanations that gave both educational information as well as application to life. It felt warm and comfortable.
“This is a New Living Bible, which is a paraphrase that is easier to read than an NIV or King James Bible.”
I nodded as though I understood what the differences could be. The cost was more than I wanted to spend, but I knew I would pay the price to be able to discover how to serve the God who gave forgiveness and healing.
This Bible walked me gently back to a committed relationship with God. So many verses were underlined and written into my journals as God’s Word spoke to my specific circumstances, sins, and fears. Sometimes I would compare the words to the King James Version I had grown up with.
I still return to a Daily Devotional Bible whenever I feel lost or dry. I recommend this type of reading to anyone who wishes to develop a habit of daily Scripture reading or who wishes to spend time learning and listening to God, but I also caution them not to beat themselves up if they miss a day or three. Just start on the present date, not trying to "catch up." It's more important to absorb what is being read than to read it all in a certain time.
Over those years I claimed two verses for healing and for the hope of writing.
“For God has not given (me) the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)
“That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all your wondrous works.”
Psalm 26:7 (KJV)
I have also appreciated daily devotionals over the years and have used several devotional type Bibles as well. (And your advice to just pick up at the current date is good - sometimes this is what derails people!)ReplyDelete
Marnie, thanks for sharing a story from your life. Isn't it great that God's Word is there for us?ReplyDelete
Thank you Marnie ... I have been thinking of a new daily devotional book, and have had study Bibles ... recently I saw a Devotional Women's Bible at the used book store, but didn't pick it up, I might have to go back there & do it!!.ReplyDelete
Lovely! I enjoyed your post very much, Marnie.ReplyDelete
The Daily Walk Devotional Bible with text from the New Living Bible sounds interesting, Marnie. Thanks for this recommendation. I have 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) close by for daily reminders of late.ReplyDelete
The other verse, Psalm 26:7 (KJV) had not previously attracted my attention, so I am including it here in my comments. “That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all your wondrous works.” Thanks for this to the point and beautiful story you are publishing here. In doing so, you are publishing your personal story "with the voice of thanksgiving" and you are telling about God's "wondrous works" in your life. Amen.